Belgium’s already declared loot boxes to be a form of gambling, and indicated that it wants to take its ruling to Europe in order to prohibit the sale of random in-app purchases. Now the UK Gambling Commission has weighed in on the sticky subject matter, stating that while it doesn’t believe the controversial microtransactions to be a form of gambling by legal definition, more may need to be done with regards to regulation.
Essentially, the statement published on the Commission’s website notes that it’s been reviewing loot boxes since as far back as 2006, and in their current guise they don’t meet the classification of “gambling” outlined by parliament. This is because, essentially, they don’t pay out a direct currency – it’s essentially all hand-wringing over very specific wording and phrases.
Of course, just because loot boxes don’t fall under the explicit description of what gambling in Britain entails, doesn’t mean that the Gambling Commission is washing its hands of the scandal entirely. “We have a long track record in keeping children safe and we are keen to share our experiences and expertise with others that have a similar responsibility,” the statement notes. “Whether gambling or not, we all have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe.”
In other words, this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this – not by a long shot.